Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Twins trade for Delmon Young

Reportedly the Twins have traded Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, and Edurado Morlan to the Tampa Bay Rays for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, and Jason Pridie. The trade is a bold move for the Twins.

Delmon Young is a future superstar. One of the finest young players in the game, Young’s excellent right-handed bat is just what the Twins need hitting in-between Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Though Young is an excellent right fielder, he can also play center field. With former center fielder Torii Hunter gone via free agency, and Michael Cuddyer established in right field, Young is needed in center more. He could also play left field or dh.

Getting a young potential superstar like Young does not come cheap. Garza is an excellent, young arm with a 95 mph fastball. Garza was viewed as Johan Santana’s replacement as the Twins’ #1 starter. Still, the Twins have lots of young pitchers and few young position players. Young is more valuable to them as an every day contributor than Garza is as an every five day contributor.

Young, of course, has a downside. He has had a problem with a sharp temper. In the minors Young was suspended for throwing a bat at an umpire, and he had a blowup last year with Ray’s manager Joe Maddon. However, Garza is not exactly a calm guy either. Many times when he pitched his emotions got the best of him ruining what could have been some good outings.

Bartlett and Harris are about even as shortstops. Both players did not make names for themselves till they got to their late 20’s. Bartlett is the better fielder while Harris is the better hitter. Harris can also play 2nd and some 3rd.

Morlan is a young, hard throwing reliever who played last year in Class A. Pridie is a young outfielder with some potential, and he is a center fielder.

Most trades occur because of needs. The Twins need hitting and position players, and have lots of good young pitchers. The Rays have lots of good, young position players, but need pitching and defense at shortstop.

Young gives the Twins future superstar hitter. Pridie adds depth to a Twins’ minor league system short on good position players. With Garza the Rays now have three great young starting pitchers in Scott Kazmir, James Shields, and Garza. A fourth young pitching star in David Price is on the way. With Bartlett to improve their defensive, the Rays could be on their way to a rare thing for them - contention in the AL East.

The Twins are thinking about contending too. Young is a good pickup. I hate to loose Garza, but I think Santana is about to be traded some top flight young pitching. If the Twins trade Joe Nathan too, they might get even more top young pitchers.

We need hitting and hitting is Young’s thing. Welcome Delmon Young – only a couple more years on the turf then its outdoors to play baseball, but bring your coat it gets cold in April, May and October up in Minnesota.